Nakar Hotel

Palma de Mallorca, Spain Book from Book from £84 per night

Smart urban hotel with high-tech rooms and a stunning rooftop pool overlooking Palma’s chi-chi shopping district and the cathedral
While the name derives from the Arabic for nacre (mother-of-pearl), there's not a hint of pearly iridescence in the contemporary styling of Nakar Hotel. Set on Palma's most bustling and upmarket shopping street – Avenue Jaume III – this high-end hotel is notable as much for its buzzy location as its sharp eye-pleasing design and hip urban attitude.

The 57 guest rooms are a techno-geek's dream, with cutting-edge gadgetry and swish 21st-century interiors. Some open to private decked terraces with big bubbly hot tubs for alfresco soaks á deux. After exploring the charming medieval lanes of Mallorca's capital, a stylish underground spa provides a low-lit retreat away from the crowds. Alternatively, a terrace features one of the city's few rooftop pools, with amazing vistas over the terracotta rooftops, to the Gothic cathedral and a shimmering strip of Mediterranean Sea beyond. On balmier evenings, chill-out sessions from hip local DJs bring a happening vibe to the poolside cocktail bar. A restaurant serving excellent haute-rustic cuisine completes an outstanding city retreat - and one that squeezes an impressive raft of features into its boutique proportions. A genuine pearl indeed.

Highs

  • The super-central location: most of the city's attractions are an easy stroll away
  • Some of the finest views in Palma from the rooftop terrace and infinity pool
  • High-tech rooms are completely soundproofed - we couldn't hear a thing from the busy street outside
  • The outstanding restaurant has a seasonal menu and summer terrace for alfresco dining
  • Great for romantic city breaks: book a Deluxe Room for a private alfresco hot tub

Lows

  • The rooftop pool is unheated and the surrounding terrace gets busy on sunny days
  • The in-house restaurant is pricey by local standards but food is excellent quality
  • Rear-facing rooms are overlooked by other buildings
  • Families are welcome but it's more of a grown-up getaway

Best time to go

We love Palma in the shoulder seasons of May or October: you avoid the sweltering heat and the crowds, while still enjoying almost guaranteed sunshine. If you're here in summer, Nakar is a good option: there's A/C and a rooftop pool, though the city streets swell with day trippers from the island's many resorts. Winters can be chilly and wet, but the city is alive all year, and festival season kicks off in January - and seems to go on forever!

Our top tips

Foodies should take the quick cab journey to the San Juan Mercado Gastronómico. This hip and buzzy food market is housed in a converted abattoir with a cornucopia of stalls covering cuisines from every corner of the world. Don't leave without trying the squid-ink tortilla.

Great for...

Beach
City Style
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 57
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • Welcome but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Rooftop terrace
Room:

Rooms

The 57 rooms and suites continue the hotel's contemporary styling, with an understated combination of oak, glass and stone complemented with a neutral palette and clean, unfussy design. Bathrooms are semi-open plan with walk-in rainfall showers and frosted glass overlooking the sleeping area. Suites have in-room soaking tubs, too. High-tech touches include smart TVs with snazzy phone/tablet mirroring and numerous USB sockets, while air-con is digitally controlled via bedside panels. All rooms have touch-sensitive buttons that drop to low-lighting to instantly set the mood.

Light sleepers needn't worry about street noise - the soundproofing is astonishingly effective. However, we loved soaking up the city buzz from the full-length balcony of our spacious Junior Suite. Romancing couples should spurge on a Deluxe Room with private canopied patio and alfresco hot tub.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Apple TV
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Nespresso
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel's 8th-floor eatery, Cuit Bar & Restaurant, has quickly established itself as one of the locale's finest. Mallorquin chef Miguel Calent runs the kitchen, and isn't afraid of introducing himself - and his ambitious menu of traditional island-inspired cuisine - to diners.

We started with the (inexplicably named) 'Poor Man' potatoes with black truffles followed by crispy octopus and spicy banana mayonnaise. Both were outstanding, though you'd expect it at those prices. The dining space is hushed and intimate with a terrace that opens up in the warmer months offering lovely views of the cathedral. Our winter visit, however, meant experiencing it blurred through clear plastic enclosures.

Breakfast is a lazy affair, with a decent buffet of hot and cold items including crispy bacon and fresh hens eggs. Orange juice is also fresh and can be combined with Freixenet cava for morning mimosas.

If you fancy eating out, there are plentiful restaurants and cafés within easy ambling distance of the hotel.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax in or around the rooftop pool soaking up the fabulous views - look out for Castle Bellver high on a nearby hilltop
  • Explore the Mallorquin capital and its numerous cultural and historical attractions, including Es Baluard contemporary art museum, just a few minutes' walk away in a landmark 16th-century fortress
  • La Seu Cathedral is very impressive; do check out the relics room
  • Refresh your wardrobe in the surrounding fashion boutiques, including those lining the swanky Passeig des Born boulevard just around the corner
  • Head to Palma's city beach, Playa C'an Pere Antoni: it's a 25-minute stroll or a quick bike ride along the seafront promenade (hire a city bike)
  • Back at the hotel, relax in the subterranean spa (heated pool, sauna, steam room and treatments)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

While young guests are welcome, Nakar is pitched at grown-ups, with nothing in the way of child-oriented facilities or kid-friendly menus.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 10 inter-connecting rooms with a capacity of up to 4 guests (2 in each room, kingsize beds can be twinned) and baby cots can fit in any of the rooms. Junior Suites and Suites can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child (up to 12 years old) sleeping on a sofabed

Baby equipment:

Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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